Going forward in 2018, learning from 2017

William T

William T. Robinson, Jr.

We are going forward into a new year with unlimited hope and possibilities. For the most part many people are positive and optimistic opting to leave their negative baggage in the past, striving to better their predicaments, and perhaps making resolutions that may be unrealistic.

However, the intent is to do better and the mental and physical initiative is now present, although it may dissipate during the year.

Many of us assume that it is human nature to want to adhere to self-improvement, especially in areas limiting your ability to be the best person you can be. But in the real world, there are those who don’t share the humanitarian redeeming qualities that so many of us think are necessary. The truth is that there exist those who will prevail at all costs to promote hidden esoteric self-serving agendas. These are people who don’t mind lying, hurting and deceiving others to accomplish their often-sordid agendas.

Because so many of us are looking to see the good in people, we often fail or refuse to see the real intentions of human scavengers preying on our naiveté. If we are to experience the best that 2018 has to offer us, we must be cognizant of events and circumstances that occurred in 2017 that can be used as learning experiences.

There were numerous decisions made on local, state and federal levels that proved to be contentious and divisive for many people and communities. We, as citizens, were forced to question the motives and intentions of many elected officials—especially over concerns of putting political party affiliation over what was in the best interests of the overall public.

We were bombarded by those seeking vigorously to overhaul the Affordable Care Act that made it possible for many people to have health care, insuring those with preexisting illnesses that wouldn’t have otherwise been covered. Many citizens see how reluctant politicians are to fight to secure a Universal National Health Program. It is unsettling and does not adhere to what the majority of the public wants.

We just experienced a year where you had some failing to see or understand the stance of Colin Kaepernick in bringing attention to the hurt and pain that African Americans were experiencing with police brutality and social injustice that was addressed in the Black Lives Matter movement.

We were saddened with the ability of so many elected Republicans and ‘followers’ to look the other way, divorcing their moral compass or conscience to support peers reeking in allegations of sexual harassment and improprieties.

The ‘Me Too’ hashtag initiated a movement that brought out numerous women alleging sexual misconduct targeting and bringing down many powerful men in all segments on industry (corporate, entertainment, news, and politics). This movement is ongoing.

2017 showcased a president who leaves nothing to one’s imagination. His biggest achievement was the passage of his tax reform bill giving the wealthy a hefty tax break on the backs of the middle class. The ‘break’ is said to be permanent. (So much for being concerned with the rising national debt to be carried on the backs of our children).

There were many national tragedies occurring in 2017, including: mass shootings; natural disasters, such as hurricanes and flooding; and wildfires out of control, devastating and destroying many communities throughout this country. However these tragedies brought out the best in people in our country responding monetarily, with their time and efforts, and with their prayers. There were countless stories and accounts of average citizens rising to the cause to help someone in need, even to the point of putting their own lives in jeopardy.

We, as a community, have the tendency to help our fellow brothers and sisters undergo tragedies and hardships. This ability to help those in distress embodies who we are as a nation of people, regardless of our fluctuating or opposing views.

We must be leery of elected officials who have consistently shown us that they have self-serving agendas devoid of what is in the best interests of their constituents or community. Let’s look back and try to rectify some of the polarizing problems that separate us and continue the humanitarian efforts some of us so effortlessly manifest. 2017 gave us a lot to look at, so let it be a guide to help us on the ‘dos’ and ‘nots’ going forward into 2018. Make sure you exercise your voting rights in 2018.